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First Name: Laurence

Last Name: Frost

Birthplace: USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Hughes

Date of Birth: 22 July 1902

Date of Death: 23 May 1977

Rank or Rate: Vice Admiral

Years Served:
Laurence Hughes Frost

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1926

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Laurence Hughes Frost
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy

Laurence Hughes Frost was born on 22 July 1902.

Frost graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1926. After graduation he served in various assignments throughout the 1920s and 1930s. In 1941 he was the Commanding Officer of the USS Greer when it was attacked by a German U-boat. The attack of 4 September 1941 was the first against an American ship during World War II and took place while the U.S. was still a neutral country. Frost later became the Commanding Officer of the USS Waller DD-466, and was involved in the operations in the Solomons Islands in August of 1943. During this operation, his ship was subject to repeated dive bombing attacks and torpedo attacks.

During the Korean War, he served as Commander of the Cruiser, USS Manchester; then Chief of Staff to Commander, First Fleet in 1952. His next command was as Commander, Destroyer Flotilla Four, Atlantic Fleet from 1955-56. Next, he was assigned as Director of Naval Intelligence from June of 1956 to September of 1960. Following that service, he became the Director of the National Security Agency from 24 November 1960 to 30 June 1962. Holding these posts during the beginning of the space race, Frost was involved in early decisions to promote surveillance satellites such as the Navy's ELINT program.

In an effort to reduce tensions, soon after his arrival at NSA, Frost appointed Robert F. Rinehart as chairman of the National Security Agency Scientific Advisory Board specifically because he was the newest member of the board with only a few months' experience and so had fewer "pre-acquired biases" in Rinehart's words. According to the NSA, "In 1962, when Vice Admiral Laurence Frost was unexpectedly transferred from his position..." Gordon Blake was his replacement.

His last command was the Potomac River Naval Command from which he retired from the Navy in 1964.

Frost's papers are preserved at the Operational Archives Branch of the Naval Historical Center in Washington, DC. He is listed as a Rear Admiral by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library which holds an 11-page transcription of an oral interview he gave in 1970. As of 2004,[update] portions of it remain "closed."

Medals and Awards

Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal (2 Awards)
Legion of Merit (2 Awards)

Death and Burial

Vice Admiral Laurence Hughes Frost died on 23 May 1977. He is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD.

Honoree ID: 2523   Created by: MHOH




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